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Sony Gets Geohot's Hardware, But Not YouTube/Twitter User Info 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the win-some-lose-some dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "A Federal court in California has denied Sony's motion to pull the personal information of Twitter and YouTube users who might have downloaded code that allows PlayStation 3s to run with alternative operating systems. The company had filed a motion for discovery, asking for the personal information of users of Twitter and YouTube who might have a connection with George Hotz, who had published a piece of code on his Web site that allowed a PlayStation 3 to run other operating systems as well as pirated games. Sony was, in essence, asking for the contact information of people who had commented on the video Hotz posted showing how he used the code, as well as people he may have corresponded with via Twitter. The judge in the case, Susan Illston, denied the motion. Hotz is still under a restraining order that forbids him from offering any methods or software that allow people to modify their Sony PlayStation 3s. Nor is he allowed to provide links to sites that offer such methods or software. He is also ordered to turn over his computers to Sony."
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Sony Gets Geohot's Hardware, But Not YouTube/Twitter User Info

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  • Fuck Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kimvette (919543) on Friday February 11, 2011 @01:56PM (#35178144) Homepage Journal

    Fuck Sony.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:01PM (#35178262) Homepage

      Fuck Sony.

      In Soviet America, Sony Fucks you.

    • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

      by by (1706743) (1706744) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:05PM (#35178364)

      Fuck Sony.

      I think your two words (plus Insightful moderation) just 'bout sums up everything.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        So...the law is saying this guy basically has no right to do what he wishes with his own hardware he bought?
        • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gstoddart (321705) on Friday February 11, 2011 @03:24PM (#35179666) Homepage

          So...the law is saying this guy basically has no right to do what he wishes with his own hardware he bought?

          No ... just that he can't tell everyone else how to do it when Sony can make the case that what he's shown is how to do illegal things.

          Now, as to if that makes any sense ...

        • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Moryath (553296) on Friday February 11, 2011 @04:51PM (#35180672)

          No, the judge is saying she has the right to demand that Geohot hand over hardware to Sony.

          Not to the court for information to be determined whether it is relevant for Sony's case, but DIRECTLY TO SONY.

          Yeah. It is that fucked up. Essentially, he's punished before any guilt is found.

          Even further in the ruling, though, she allowed Sony to play jurisdiction-shopping and keep the lawsuit in San Francisco despite NOTHING in the case being related to that area, except that it makes it infinitely harder for Geohot to defend since he will have to fly back and forth and back and forth every time this brainless bimbo schedules a hearing.

          Yet another case with a technological moron judge saying "oh, what the big corporation wants the big corporation gets. Shut up you peon you shouldn't have messed with a big corporation."

          Someone please - check into this corrupt judge's finances. I suspect there are some doozies in there.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I will NEVER buy anything with the Sony brand name. No matter how cheap.

    • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:4, Informative)

      by MistrBlank (1183469) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:10PM (#35178464)

      Agreed.

      Sony just guaranteed I won't buy anything from them EVER AGAIN.

    • Just Sony? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:13PM (#35178510)
      You act like it's Sony's fault that our justice system lets them get away with this crap.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        It's their fault they tried, they could have not gone to court.

      • Re:Just Sony? (Score:5, Informative)

        by andydread (758754) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:28PM (#35178788)
        IT IS SONY'S FUCKING FAULT. They are the ones that LOBBIED and PAYED politcians Like Joe Biden and Orin Hatch for the fucking DMCA and basically WROTE THE FUCKING LAW along with MPAA/RIAA. SONY CAN GO FUCK ITSELF. Not purchasing anymore Sony products ever ever ever again and will actively warn EVERYONE I KNOW not to buy ANY Sony products.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by schnikies79 (788746)

          No defending Sony, but I'm putting this out there.

          The person who takes the bribe (or campaign contributions) is much more morally bankrupt than the person offering. Joe and Orin could have said no.

          • by andydread (758754)
            Agreed 100%
          • by aztektum (170569)

            Sorry, but you did not arbitrarily capitalize words. Your point is thus invalid.

          • by x0n (120596)

            No defending Sony, but I'm putting this out there.

            The person who takes the bribe (or campaign contributions) is much more morally bankrupt than the person offering. Joe and Orin could have said no.

            The entire American system for funding political parties is based around mutual back scratching. No point jabbing your finger at individuals either. The problem is bigger than that. You need to replace your flag's stars and stripes with a loofah and dollar signs.

        • Not purchasing anymore Sony products ever ever ever again

          Exactly what percentage of Sony's revenue do your purchases represent?

          Welcome to the world of multinational corporations.

          and will actively warn EVERYONE I KNOW not to buy ANY Sony products.

          What makes you think that your advertisement efforts will prove more effective than Sony's?

          Once again, welcome to the world of multinational corporations.

          • by andydread (758754)
            As someone who has done the whole Sony Style thing and has installed millions of dollars worth of Sony professional equipment over the last decade and who has recommended several million dollars more of Sony professional equipment alone with several million dollars worth of Sony home theater equipment I think I am a position to influence those that I deal with on a daily basis. Sure it wont hurt them but every trickle counts. In our field Panasonic, and Canon are quite competitive to Sony products. So
      • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

        Our justice system allows for people to go to court when they feel like they've been wronged. That's not flawed.

        The problem is companies like Sony abusing that right. I hope they get their backsides handed to them and additional fines for wasting the court's time.

      • You act like it's Sony's fault that our justice system lets them get away with this crap.

        Good point... I'd agree that all the lobbying, bribes, "sponsoring" laws, misusing DHS and "special considerations" given to our representatives that companies like Sony make have no effect on such things.

        Oh, wait...

    • Sony does the proper thing and requests a court order. The court has the obligation to do the right thing, not Sony. If you're upset with the judge's decision, blame the judge. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with a company seeking such an injunction against someone harming their business.

      • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:4, Informative)

        by zeroshade (1801584) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:43PM (#35179042)
        Actually, there is something wrong with a company seeking such an injunction against someone harming their business specifically when they are unable to prove they are harming the business in any way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In this country, the rule is supposed to be that every person can do what they want, less a few exceptions that are intended to ensure that every person can do what they want.

        If a corporation has become so powerful that it can enforce such nonsense as "you bought that, but you don't own it," and "my money trumps your freedom" then its existence should be brought to an end. We allow the existence of corporations in order to enhance our individual freedom, not the other way around.

      • by Corngood (736783)

        I agree with you about the judge, but that doesn't mean Sony did the "proper thing". I think we can safely blame both of them.

      • by jcochran (309950)

        Interesting.

        There's nothing whatsoever wrong with a company seeking such an injunction against someone harming their business.

        And in what way is SONY's business being harmed?
        SONY sold a piece of equipment and after the sale and without notice, reduced the equipment's functionality.
        Hotz did manage to figure out the master key allowing for the signing of software so that this deleted functionality could be restored. Mr Hotz wouldn't have attempted to determine that key if it were not for SONY unilaterally reducing the equipment's functionality. And even then, the number of people who would use the key discovered by Mr Ho

      • I think most of us are troubled that the judge gave such a cavalier dismissal of his right to privacy in a case that amounts to enforcing censorship of free speech.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Paracelcus (151056)

      "Turn over his computers"?

      Go on Craigslist, buy some junk, DBAN 'em, Here's my computers, suck my dick!
      Fuck you, Fuck you, Fuck you!

    • Re:Fuck Sony (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:44PM (#35179070)
      And the solution is to either boycott Sony, or better yet buy their products then return them with the excuse that the DRM on them prevents them from being used for some of the uses their advertising implies they can be used for.
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:46PM (#35179106)
      "Been there, done that. P.S. you mispelled 'Sonny'." -- Cher
    • DAMN I was going to say that. I hope he had one of those Sony trojan horses in his hard drive. I'd be really happy to see that do some damage to their network.
    • If I wear GeoHot I would comply with the order - after feeding the hardware through a wood chipper and a trash compactor.

  • Well at least there is some sanity. I am pretty sure commenting on a video is not a crime no matter what the video shows.

    • Yet...
      I'm sure sometime in the future, it'll be seen as being an adversary in criminal activity... by some twisted legal standing.

  • I'm Confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday February 11, 2011 @01:59PM (#35178222) Journal

    Why isn't George Hotz (GeoHot) having a third party do the discovery on his computer(s)?
    Then his lawyer and him sit down with the 3rd party to go over their discovery and assert privilege on what they feel should not be shared.
    Finally, the Judge makes a decision on the privilege claims and only then does Sony get to see anything.

    At least that's usually how these things work when you don't want the other side trolling through your papers or hard drives.

    • Seriously. What's to stop sony from planting evidence?
      • by EdIII (1114411)

        What is to stop GeoHot from giving them a doctored system with extremely small amounts of information?

        It will show the keys and some dev stuff, but no stored passwords, no documents, nothing for Sony to look through and find people that he has worked with.

        The lack of 3rd party discovery works both ways here. GeoHot and his lawyer have the perfect answer when Sony says they did not find what they were looking for (biased investigation), "That's baseless conjecture your honor. My client stores no passwords

    • Re:I'm Confused (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:09PM (#35178434)

      I'm in an graduate level Advanced Computer Forensics course right now... and the fact that they aren't having a 3rd party do this is shameful, with the "point and click" forensics software out there now a days... they could just enter the hex for the key and find every copy of it on the drive, and then just look near those places... etc... geohot should MD5(which is still forensically "good" for fingerprinting (oddly... from someone with a crypto background) but SHA-1/SHA-256/CRC/etc his drive to make sure that nothing is tampered with... preserve data integrity.

      Though... personally I would just give them a freshly wiped HDD and call it a day, and apologize to the judge and tell them it was b/c of the Sony root-kit on a CD he bought at a thrift store ;)

      • by gknoy (899301)

        I think it would be tremendously stupid for Geohot to do any sort of shenanigans like that (giving them a wiped/doctored/broken disk/computer), as it makes him very likely to get slammed for contempt of court. Great points about the merits of 3rd party discovery, though.

      • Though... personally I would just give them a freshly wiped HDD and call it a day, and apologize to the judge and tell them it was b/c of the Sony root-kit on a CD he bought at a thrift store ;)

        And get thrown in jail for contempt of court and/or perjury. Though with all his asinine grandstanding regarding both iPhone and PS3 hacking, it's certainly not out of the realm of plausibility.

    • Because I'm fairly sure Sony is going to get Mr Hotz 10yr old laptop with a fresh install of Debian on it.
      • by rvw (755107)

        Because I'm fairly sure Sony is going to get Mr Hotz 10yr old laptop with a fresh install of Debian on it.

        I would opt for Windows XP with a Sony rootkit - much more fun!

    • It seems to me that Sony is opening themselves up to litigation, if they're really getting the hardware themselves. "Your honor, my computer contained trade secrets unrelated to the PS3 case. After acquiring my computer, Sony released a product containing said secrets. Money, please."
  • From everything I've read, Hotz didn't actually do the work to get the master key, and basically tried to take credit for other people's efforts. I wonder if he still wants to take the credit?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ensign Morph (1824130)

      Well, sort of. 95% of the break was done by fail0verflow, who I think it's safe to say don't hold Hotz or his motives in particularly high regard. [twitter.com] They quite deliberately stopped at the point where they could run homebrew unrestricted, since going further had no use other than piracy. Predictably, Hotz did that extra part and released it as a pirate-friendly "jailbreak.zip".

      Whilst the DMCA is total bullshit, it's hard to feel too much sympathy for him. He did something that had no purpose other than enablin

      • by numbski (515011)

        IMHO - any civil disobedience, high-minded or not, is just fine in my book. Whatever his motivation, he's now fighting the good fight. Either get behind him or don't.

      • Personally, I think it's great that the hacking community has found such a reliably loud-mouthed fall guy.
    • From what I've read, not quite. Apparently he took the first step, then another group (Fail0verflow IIRC) took the next step, then Geohot was the one who actually got the private key.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:00PM (#35178258)

    That's funny 46 DC EA D3 17 FE 45 D8 09 23 EB 97 E4 95 64 10 D4 CD B2 C2

  • send the systems COD by the cheapest shiping co and let them do the boxing.

    • by SirGeek (120712)

      No.. I'd allow them to duplicate the hard drive.. NOTHING MORE. And then validate it with a checksum on the drive (compared to your original).

      At least this way they don't get the hardware but they DO get the information on it.

      And you demand the checksum be recalculated by a 3rd party AFTER they've done their "inspection" and it better be 100% the same.

      • by Firethorn (177587)

        No.. I'd allow them to duplicate the hard drive.. NOTHING MORE. And then validate it with a checksum on the drive (compared to your original).

        Feel free to suggest this, however you should be aware that this is court ordered. That means that there is now 'allowing'. You refuse, the judge has the option to do things varying between holding you in contempt or having the police go and confiscate your stuff.

        I'd have my lawyer explain how giving them certified copies of the contents of my HD would allow Sony to investigate while not unduly burdening myself by losing access to my own records and information.

        Then again, I'd also have my lawyer argue th

  • "Sorry, Sony. The hard drive is encrypted with a 35 character password and 3DES/AES.. Darn it! I knew I should have used a shorter password..because you see, I forgot it! So sorry about that."
    • by kurokame (1764228)

      Use a security algorithm where one of the keys is based on reverse geocaching. The key is only available if the system is within a reasonable distance of the location where the file was created.

  • We need comments from a lawyer.
    Since when the demandant can confiscate property of the person is accusing?
    They could plant anything they want.
    At most hardware should be confiscated by the Feds and be examined by them or a recognized 3rd party.
    • Since when the demandant can confiscate property of the person is accusing?

      That's what struck me as seriously stupid and downright foul play, too. They shouldn't have any access to potential evidence, it should be inspected by a 3rd party who is in no conflict of interests, and that 3rd party should only give relevant data to Sony while leaving out all non-relevant. That's atleast how it'd be done here.

      Knowing Sony they'll definitely try to plant something there AND will take backups of everything, absolutely everything, and then later on use the totally irrelevant pieces to try t

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Knowing Sony they'll definitely try to plant something there AND will take backups of everything, absolutely everything, and then later on use the totally irrelevant pieces to try to deface Geohot. Hell, they'll just "leak" it to someone else who ain't working at Sony and who'll do the actual defacing all the while claiming their innocence.

        That's a great way to compromise your case and get sanctioned by a Judge.
        Anything that gets leaked from GeoHot's computers will effectively be blood on Sony's hands.

        • That's a great way to compromise your case and get sanctioned by a Judge.
          Anything that gets leaked from GeoHot's computers will effectively be blood on Sony's hands.

          Of course they'll wait until the judge has ruled one way or another and the case is over. At that point the judge can't anymore change the outcome.

  • by EkriirkE (1075937) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:08PM (#35178406) Homepage
    Is it 46 DC EA D3 17 FE 45 D8 09 23 EB 97 E4 95 64 10 D4 CD B2 C2 they want?
    or

    erk: C0 CE FE 84 C2 27 F7 5B D0 7A 7E B8 46 50 9F 93 B2 38 E7 70 DA CB 9F F4 A3 88 F8 12 48 2B E2 1B
    riv: 47 EE 74 54 E4 77 4C C9 B8 96 0C 7B 59 F4 C1 4D
    pub: C2 D4 AA F3 19 35 50 19 AF 99 D4 4E 2B 58 CA 29 25 2C 89 12 3D 11 D6 21 8F 40 B1 38 CA B2 9B 71 01 F3 AE B7 2A 97 50 19
    R: 80 6E 07 8F A1 52 97 90 CE 1A AE 02 BA DD 6F AA A6 AF 74 17
    n: E1 3A 7E BC 3A CC EB 1C B5 6C C8 60 FC AB DB 6A 04 8C 55 E1
    K: BA 90 55 91 68 61 B9 77 ED CB ED 92 00 50 92 F6 6C 7A 3D 8D
    Da: C5 B2 BF A1 A4 13 DD 16 F2 6D 31 C0 F2 ED 47 20 DC FB 06 70

    ?

    Perhaps this software? http://psl1ght.com/ [psl1ght.com]
    With this? http://cl.ly/3yVX [cl.ly]

  • "Nokia and Sony: Companies that fucked themselves and pissed off their customers."

  • by penguin_dance (536599) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:22PM (#35178682)

    This is like buying a computer and then being told you can only run Windows on it. If want want to risk bricking my system, I should be allowed to do it.

    Void the warranty...no problem. But you bought it. You should be able to run any damn system you want on it.

    • If I may, I don't believe GeoHot is being charged with cracking his PS3 but with distributing said crack to the rest of the Internet.

      You'll find I believe that in the USA, the DMCA prevents both behaviours anyway. That's a congressional problem, not a corporate one. Call your representatives and have these laws changed or repealed if you don't like how they're applied. ... lives in Canada

      • Our representatives represent Sony, more than they represent the common man. The DMCA will always favor the rich and mighty, rather than the intelligent and inventive common man on a quest for knowledge.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday February 11, 2011 @02:26PM (#35178746)
    If Geohot is reading this, startup a donation website. I'm sure the world at large would be more than happy to send you replacement parts enough to build your own Beowulf cluster if you really wanted to.
  • I'd have to think that Geohot has encrypted the contents of some files or perhaps his entire hard drive. Can he be legally required to divulge passwords? He's certainly savvy enough to use hidden containers.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      He's certainly savvy enough to, but why should he? He hasn't done anything that violates any constitutional laws.

    • Boot from SDHC

      OS on microSDHC, configure 4GB as /BOOT /
      and locate /HOME /ROOT on 16GB microSDHC
      encrypt 16GB
      Hollow coins
      inside
      coin jar
      change tray
      plastic bag
      outside/deniability

  • I bought some eggplant the other day, can I cook it how I like or do I have to check with the farmer first?
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    If Geohot has broken the law (DMCA), then how and why does Sony (a private entity) have any right to seize his personal property? If anything, the US Government should be seizing his property as evidence that he committed a federal crime. Last I heard, plaintiffs cannot seize defendants' property in a civil lawsuit. Alas, IANAL...

  • I'm sure its in the EULA somewhere that they reserve the right to take back any PC without notice.

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